Man United’s Ten Hag refuses to give up Champions League place – ESPN – ESPN

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Man United’s Ten Hag refuses to give up Champions League place – ESPN – ESPN


BOURNEMOUTH, England — Erik ten Hag denied that Manchester United is out of the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League after the team’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday.

United, who have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, are 10 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa and fifth-placed Tottenham with six games remaining in the race for a Champions League place next season.

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“We give what we can, but I’m also realistic,” Ten Hag told a press conference after the full-time whistle.

“And so when the full team was there, I would still have said great confidence, but we will continue to fight also with the available players. And you see, there is high potential but also young players.

“Yeah, they make mistakes and if they have to play every Premier League [game] and they have proven that they can compete with the best teams at the highest level. They proved it. But now they have to do it consistently and that’s always the next step for young players. »

Asked if he accepts that the Champions League is now beyond his team, Ten Hag replied: “No. No, I didn’t say that.”

United’s failure to beat Bournemouth and Newcastle’s 4-0 victory over Tottenham earlier on Saturday saw the Ten Hag side drop to seventh in the table.

Ten Hag refused to answer a question as he left the press conference about the possibility of United sliding further down the table. If United were to finish the season in eighth position or lower, it would be the club’s worst result in Premier League history.

“I’m not answering that question,” Ten Hag said. “It’s not important at the moment.”

Ten Hag has had to deal with a litany of injuries in his squad this season, notably in central defense where he is without Lisandro Martínez, Raphaël Varane, Victor Lindelöf and Jonny Evans.

Harry Maguire partnered 19-year-old Willy Kambwala in the draw at the Vitality Stadium, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka filled in at left-back due to the absence of Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

“You see our back four and that tells the story, but we know our demands,” said the Dutch coach.

“But it totally tells the story and especially if one of the players is in trouble and we also can’t change the system because we are [have] I’m running out of center halves.”

Kambwala almost awarded a penalty which would have given Bournemouth the opportunity to snatch all three points in added time, but VAR Jarred Gillett overturned referee Tony Harrington’s decision to award a penalty. Gillett felt the defender had collided with Ryan Christie outside the box, in what was a close decision.

Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola disagreed with the decision and felt his team had been denied an “obvious” penalty.

“I totally believe it was a penalty,” Iraola told Sky Sports.

“Against Newcastle, the penalty against us, the contact started outside the box. But [today] the first frame has been set so that the first contact is on the edge of the box, but the contact continues one, two meters inside and stops the player.

“Christie isn’t down for just a moment. The defender goes with Christie one, two meters inside the box. For me, it’s obvious.”

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